04 Apr 2013

Is Your Blog an Information Powerhouse?

By Amie Marse, Content Equals Money

If there’s one thing your customers want to see in your blog, I can almost guarantee you it’s this: valuable information. We’re not talking about Wikipedia-style information. We’re talking exclusive, you won’t find this in Google’s 1.2 million search results kind of information.

I’ve been writing for the Web since 2005, and over the last 8 years I’ve learned a few things about creating content that matters. If you want to give your blog an edge over your competition, grab these five strategies by the horns, and put them to work for you.

Showcase Your Personal Knowledge

Here’s the thing about valuable content: In order to have something valuable to say, you don’t have to be the very best at what you do. You don’t have to have the most experience, the biggest clientele or the most expensive website design. Simply by being a part of your industry, you have a unique perspective that outsiders don’t have. Share your unique perspective, your personal experiences and your hard-earned knowledge on your company’s blog.

One of my favorite blogging tips of all time comes from The Sales Lion, Marcus Sheridan who recommends that bloggers, who are at a complete loss with what to write about next, should take out a sheet of paper and write down every question they’ve ever been asked about their business. Then, take those questions, and turn them into blog posts.

You might think you have nothing new to share, but I guarantee you that when you sit down to write out these questions, you’ll find that you have several topics that nobody could cover but you.

Stop Regurgitating Content

When you showcase your personal knowledge, you shouldn’t have this problem (the regurgitation issue). Unfortunately, most blogs read like old TV re-runs, sharing the same old things we’ve all seen before. On the surface, this is a creativity issue, but at base, I believe it really has to do with laziness and organization.

If you set aside time at the beginning of each month to create an editorial calendar, I can almost guarantee you that you’ll largely sidestep the regurgitation issue. Most bloggers slip into the trap of regurgitation when they feel pressured to throw a post up on their site. If you know in advance when you’re posting and what you’re posting about, you can take the time to create a post that uniquely showcases your personal knowledge.

For help with developing your own editorial calendar, I highly recommend this post from Copyblogger.

Use a Bounty of Resources & Links

As smart as you are, it’s still important to incorporate a variety of resources into your blog posts. On the one hand, resources give your readers easy access to extra information. On the other hand, they make you look more credible. Resources are a way of demonstrating that you do, in fact, keep up on your industry and market trends.

Types of resources you should include? That’s a long list, but a few of my favorites include peer bloggers, news articles pertaining to your industry, other writers’ how-to guides, and your earlier blog posts and resource pages. Find out why Ellie Mirman of HubSpot believes you should link to your competitors (a smart strategy for building thought leadership).

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